There won’t be any practical problem in holding the defence ministerial portfolio by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa despite a grey area in the Constitution in terms of the 19th Amendment, an official said yesterday. Chairman of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Prof. G.L. Peiris said the Constitution stipulates that the executive power of people should be exercised by the President elected by them.
However, he said the 19th Amendment stipulates that the President should appoint Cabinet ministers from among the MPs in consultation with the Prime Minister. He said the President is not an MP and therefore a literal reading of it will offer the idea that he cannot hold the defence portfolio.
However, Prof. Peiris who is a legal academic said the President is obligated to exercise the executive power of people including defence in terms of Article 3 of the Constitution. Therefore, he said there was no practical problem in holding defence as a subject. (Kelum Bandara)